SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor Edwin M. Lee along with the mayors from Oakland, San Leandro, and West Sacramento announced the results of the 2016 Startup in Residence program, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. The STIR program is a 16-week program with the goal of addressing regional civic challenges, and the announcement highlighted new technology products that were developed from the program.

“The Startup in Residence program is a model for civic innovation and regional collaboration,” said Mayor Lee. “This program is a unique opportunity for government agencies and startups to think creatively about how we can all work together to modernize government to benefit residents.”

There have been 14 startups across North America that joined 13 government departments in San Francisco,  Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento. The startups shared technology products that were co-developed to address civic challenges and improve the quality of life for Bay Area residents.

“STIR is a platform for governments to work together with civic-minded private sector businesses on regional issues,” said Oakland Mayor LibbySchaaf. “This work is critical because the challenges we’re facing don’t respect geographic boundaries. We have to look everywhere for solutions beginning right here in our region by learning and sharing across the public and private sectors.”

The STIR program was built on the success of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office Civic Innovation 2014 pilot initiative. This pilot Initiative produced six technology products that were designed to meet San Francisco’s specific needs such as indoor navigation for visually impaired travelers at the San Francisco International Airport. This year the STIR program has expanded regionally and participating startups are working on issues including streamlining the foster care application process, creating a mobile solution to support early education outreach and enrollment, and developing tools to asses the damage in the aftermath of an emergency like an earthquake.

“Expansion of the STIR program to additional cities in the region has accelerated our willingness to explore new technologies and learn from each other,” said San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter.  “We look forward to growing these city collaborations in the years to come.”

The program offers education for government and startup staff in areas including partnership, procurement, open data, civic technology trends, the technology marketplace, and new methods of product development.

“It’s been a rewarding experience for our Police and Fire Departments to work with startups through STIR,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “The agile development methodology and iterative approach to project management that our staff have learned through the program has immense short and long term value. Public-private partnerships like this one are helping us to deliver services more effectively and inject a fail fast, fail often, start up mentality into the culture of government.”

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center at the San Francisco Department of Technology hosted program participants for the education sessions.

“The opportunity to be a founding partner on STIR perfectly embodies our organization’s commitment to support entrepreneurs with the mentors and educational resources they need to be successful,” said Nicola Corzine, Executive Director, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. “We look forward to supporting the growth and expansion of STIR in 2017 and beyond.”

The 2016 STIR program is supported by various organizations including a grant from the Economic Development Administration, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Centers, Civic Makers, ImpactHubSF, Runway Incubator, Wearable IoT World Labs, and thought leaders and mentors. San Francisco News emailed Mayor Edwin Lee for more information, but has not yet received comment.

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